Chicago – K&L Gates LLP recently secured a victory for Koch Foods, a U.S.-based food processor and distributor, in a grand jury investigation and prosecution conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division. The multi-year investigation and prosecution focused on alleged bid-rigging and price-fixing in the sale of broiler chickens.
In October 2020, a Colorado grand jury indicted ten senior executives and sales employees of various poultry suppliers, including a Koch Foods employee. In July 2021, the DOJ brought charges against Koch Foods as well. A year later, following back-to-back hung juries in the first two trials against the chicken industry executives, the DOJ’s third trial against the executives ended in a total acquittal.
On September 15, the DOJ filed a motion to dismiss with prejudice its indictment against Koch Foods, with the court a week later granting the DOJ’s motion and dismissing all charges against Koch Foods. K&L Gates has represented Koch Foods throughout the investigation and prosecution.
The Chicago antitrust team representing Koch Foods in this matter was led by partners Lauren Donahue and Cliff Histed, Chicago managing partner Michael Martinez and associates Victoria Pereira and Brian Smith.
The antitrust, competition, and trade regulation practice at K&L Gates is composed of nearly 80 lawyers throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The group is positioned in strategic markets around the globe to help clients minimize antitrust risks and ensure compliance, defend or pursue litigation, successfully navigate government agency investigations, get deals through regulatory authorities, provide guidance in pricing, distribution, and brand protection challenges, and leverage antitrust and competition laws.